Tennis GOAT Roger Federer Retires

The retirement of tennis legend Roger Federer has seen an increase in the price of his collectibles, as his impact on the sport continues to be massive.

Tennis GOAT Roger Federer Retires

Roger Federer, one of the greatest tennis players of all time, announced his retirement from the sport last week. At age 41, Roger Federer has won 20 Men’s Grand Slam championships, behind only Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, and he was the number one ATP ranked player for years, cementing his legacy as one of the best athletes ever. Federer also expanded the commercial surface of tennis as a sport, garnering a wide range of brand partnerships that helped bring more attention to tennis.

Like many athletes retiring at the top of their game, Federer’s brand aura means that the price of his collectibles will surely increase. He made fans all around the world fall in love with tennis!

The Post-Retirement Rise of Roger

Since the announcement of Roger’s retirement, eBay reported an increase in both the interest and price of Roger Federer collectibles on their platform. Sales of Federer collectibles increased 1,050% and searches for his rookie cards increased 3,900%. Searches for Roger Federer’s tennis sneakers also increased 1,100%. Federer’s top selling card is the 2003 Netpro Elite Glossy Roger Federer PSA 10, which sold for $20,000 in April 2021 and is considered his rookie card. Over the last twelve months, nearly 7,000 Roger Federer cards have been sold on eBay, with total sales reaching $1 Million.

Looking at Roger’s Commercial Destiny

Part of Roger’s specific appeal has also come from having a very powerful personal brand. In 2020, Roger was named by Forbes as the highest paid athlete in the world. That year, Forbes highlighted the $100 Million Roger had made from endorsements and appearance fees and the fact that it was the very first time a tennis player had topped the list. Barilla, Moët & Chandon, Rimowa, Rolex, and Credit Suisse are just a sample of the large number of brands he has worked with. Even more than endorsements, Roger has proven an ability to own his commercial future. His UNIQLO deal is one of the most lucrative of all time. He will be receiving $300 Million over ten years, regardless of whether or not he is an active athlete.

Roger has been deeply involved as an investor in On Running, a leading shoe brand that went public last year, which we have written about before. The company is now public and Roger is the face of the brand. While On shoes haven’t reached levels of cultural relevance comparable to Nike or Adidas, there is still room for the brand to grow. In a way, it’s Roger Federer’s own version of the Michael Jordan playbook. When Michael Jordan partnered with Nike to launch the Jordan brand, their shoes became more culturally relevant over decades and helped make Michael Jordan become a billionaire.

In a similarly strategic business move, Roger left IMG and started his own management agency, TEAM8.

For us here at Neustreet, we watch eagerly to see if Roger is willing to experiment with NFT experiences for his legions of fans around the world. So far, rising tennis star Coco Gauff (also represented by TEAM8) has signed a deal with Autograph to launch NFTs…

Regrettably but truthfully, the NFT space has been filled with scams and low quality projects. While we believe in the long term value of NFTs, it’s understandable that Roger Federer is approaching the space with caution.

The Future of Roger Federer

When Roger Federer retires, the limited supply of the collectibles made during his active career will most likely be subjected to increased demand and rising prices. The same effect will happen to Serena Williams, Tom Brady, Tiger Woods, Cristiano Ronaldo, or any other sporting GOAT.

As with any athlete’s retirement–while it may be the end of their sporting career, it’s only the beginning of the next stage of their business career.

Roger Federer is playing his last ever match on September 23 at the Laver Cup, teaming up in a doubles match with longtime rival Rafael Nadal. Secondary ticket sales are popping off, showing that the hype of Roger Federer is still alive!

Roger-Federer-article-image

  • This article was written in collaboration with Mark Epps, ATP Tour